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karan
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:20 pm
But Bell was more keen on developing a voice transmitting device, which he would later call the telephone.
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karan
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:21 pm
After some negotiation, the investors allowed for Bell to work on both technologies, with more focus on the popular harmonic telegraph.
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karan
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:21 pm
However, in the end, the telephone won out. As Bell would later explain, “If I could make a current of electricity vary in intensity precisely as the air varies in density during the production of sound, I should be able to transmit speech telegraphically.”
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karan
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:21 pm
On March 7, 1876, Bell was awarded a patent on the device, and three days later, he made his first successful telephone call to his assistant, electrician Thomas Watson, who would hear Bell’s famous words transmitted through the wire: “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.”
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karan
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:21 pm
Soon after establishing the Bell Telephone Company in 1877, Bell found himself in what would become an almost 20-year legal battle with other inventors who claimed they had invented the telephone before or around the same time as Bell, his most notable rival being Elisha Grey. However, in the end, none of the lawsuits proved successful.
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karan
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:21 pm
The telephone proved wildly successful, and within 10 years, more than 100,000 people in the United States owned telephones.
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karan
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:22 pm
a few years after founding Bell Telephone Company, Bell quickly lost interest in managing the business aspect of his enterprise and sold his shares.
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karan
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:22 pm
In 1880 he invested his sizable fortune into building a new scientific experimental facility called the Volta Laboratory, aimed to improving the lives of the hearing impaired. The laboratory ran many experiments using light to transmit sound.
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karan
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:22 pm
Outside of the telephone, one of Bell’s other famous inventions was the graphophone, patented in 1886, which was a device that could record and play back sound.
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karan
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:22 pm
The graphophone was an improved and more commercialized version of the phonograph invented by Thomas Edison.
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:22 pm
Coincidentally, while Bell helped improve Edison’s phonograph, Edison improved Bell’s telephone by inventing the microphone, which allowed users to speak in a normal voice rather than shouting to be heard on a call.
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:23 pm
After the fatal shooting of President James A. Garfield in 1881, Bell got to work on a device that could detect metal in the body for surgical use.
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karan
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:23 pm
Calling it “an electrical bullet probe,” Bell developed what would become a precursor to the metal detector.
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:23 pm
In the 1890s, Bell began focusing his studies on aviation. In 1907 he formed the Aerial Experiment Association and helped develop flying machines like the Silver Dart. At 75, he created the world’s fastest hydrofoil at the time.
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:23 pm
In 1888, Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society and later served as its president between 1898 and 1903. Along with his son-in-law, Gilbert Grosvenor, Bell transformed the society’s journal, National Geographic, into a world-renowned publication.
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:23 pm
Bell also helped launch Science magazine, still one of the world’s premier science publications.
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:24 pm
Controversially, Bell was named honorary president of the Second International Congress of Eugenics, held in New York in 1921, which advocated sterilization of people deemed “defective.” The eugenics movement, popular in the early 20th century, aimed to reduce or eliminate disease and disability from the human population through sterilization and other means.
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:24 pm
Bell died peacefully at his vacation home in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, on August 2, 1922.
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:24 pm
As a quiet but powerful tribute to Bell, people all over Canada and the United States refrained from using their telephones during his funeral.
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on Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:24 pm
Alexander Graham Bell: John Steele Gordon. The Reader’s Companion to American History. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Editors.
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